Monday, May 2, 2011

Where's Waldo: The Incredible Paper Chase

As amazing and fun as the Where's Waldo (known as Where's Wally in England) books are, there are not very many in existence. Martin Handford drew the original Waldo and cast in 1986, and went on to produce six books total. I know they are wildly popular, so I'm a bit surprised more haven't been produced. The sheer quantity of illustrations required for each page is probably the main reason. Sometimes it would take Handford up to eight weeks to draw a two page sketch. Which means it is that much more exciting when a new book appears!

The Incredible Paper Chase offers seven spreads with the traditional Waldo walking right through the fun. Our favorite was the prehistoric page, with dinosaurs of every color and shape playing games and goofing around. There are plenty of red and white striped bodies to keep Waldo hidden, plus we were side-tracked several times trying to figure out what the dinosaurs were up to. Some of them

Waldo seekers will also enjoy a castle page with the red army fighting the blue; a page full of postcards featuring characters from Waldo's travels; a ferocious man-eating monster gobbling soldiers; armies battling each other wearing dog masks; lines of soldiers standing at attention (this one appears easier, but it isn't); and a hedge maze with lots of lost travelers caught inside. The last puzzle is an enormous party featuring Waldo faces on banners and lots of red and white streamers, making it the most daunting of the bunch.    

What sets this book apart from the previous Waldo books is some three dimensional fun at the back of the book. The Muddy Swampy Jungle Game consists of a playing board, wacky Waldo rhyming cards and counters to move about the board. Just roll a die and follow the instructions on each spot until one player reaches the finish line. The Wacky Wado Circus is three pages full of perforated circus performers and characters. Simply punch out all the pieces and set up your own Waldo big tent. I think it's neat that they are trying to provide some additional materials in addition to the traditional Waldo hunt.       

Review copy provided by Candlewick Press. 

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